Tuesday, September 29, 2009


At Phillips Exeter Academy, where I spent an amazing four years of high school, each student is required to write a "meditation" paper in their English class Senior Year. I always found it hard to find topics (especially personal ones, as meditations are) for long papers, and this one was no exception. So I wrote about something that was extremely personal to me: my fear of crying.

It was nothing I could explain, and that made the paper so hard to write. As if the fear of crying also brought on the fear of talking about the fear! The only thing I knew was that I could cry, sob, bawl, etc. to movies, books, T.V. shows, and anything that was not real life. Then the flood gates could be opened, and I could get some emotional release. But confronted with a real situation, one that hurt me, scared me, frustrated me to the very inside of my being, and there I would lay on my bed, hugging my teddy bear Henry, scrunching my face up, praying for tears to come. The few times I did find release, the result was not what I expected: sisters telling me to grow up and that I was wrong; a best friend turning her back because she didn't know what to do; self-shame building up because I didn't think the crying was warranted.

So here I am, 7 years later, confronted with the opposite problem, it seems. I tear up to the simplest of means, I crave that emotional release. At least in certain situations. And although I know there were many deep seated issues, the ex-boyfriend blamed that for the ruin of our relationship once again. "You need to grow up. Be an adult. I can honestly say I don't know any other 24 year old that cries as much as you do. I even know people much younger than you that don't cry that much."
Some of the last words he said to me. That I will ever let him say to me. While he lectured me on my choice of emotional relief, I tried so hard to stifle the sobs, letting my chest pump up and down instead of releasing the loud, deep breaths, tears silently making their trail down my cheeks, to my neck, and meeting their end on my pillow.
Was it actually too much crying? Was it just him? Do I need to find a medium?
The fear is returning, and that in itself makes more fear. I don't want to return to the frustration of a seemingly chronic case of "dry-eye". I spent a good 5 days simply crying after he ended things that night. Sobs so deep my toes hurt from the pressure; tears so frequent I stopped trying to dry them, cries so loud I was positive the neighbors could hear. And every time I thought, "Please make it stop. Make the pain stop. I don't want to cry anymore." And that has remained. Since those intial few days, the crying has almost felt forced when I've needed it. Unpacking at the new house, I found pictures of us that I had packed before the End. Legs weak, fallen to the ground, I forced the tears, the deep sobs, trying so desperately to get the pain out of me.

Am I back to where I was? To the forcing? To the fear of what others' opinions will be?
I'm told "When you find the right guy, he won't make you cry (or at least not a lot), and he will help you through every time you do." Is that true? Or is the damage done?
This End is going to scar. And what is that scar tissue heals over fresh, necessary life?

To Be Continued... Gotta say, talking about this is just as hard to express as it was 7 years ago!

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